On June 19, 1952, the Brooklyn Dodgers faced the Chicago Cubs. On the mound for the Dodgers was Carl Erskine, a right-handed pitcher from Anderson University. Little did Erskine know, that he was about to complete a start that few in baseball could match up to that point.
In a 5-0 victory, Erskine threw a no-hitter, issuing only one walk and recording one strikeout. The walk, Erskine’s lone blemish in the game, occurred in the third inning against a Cubs’ relief pitcher.
The reliever that drew the walk was Willie Ramsdell, who had quite the connection to Erskine. Ramsdell was in the Dodgers’ organization and was sent down to the Minors when Erskine was called up in July of 1948.
Erskine commented on his matchup with Ramsdell, via Mark Langill of Dodger Insider:
I threw four fastballs that missed,” Erskine said. “Ramsdell wasn’t a very good hitter. But who knows? If I gave him something good, maybe he gets the only hit of the game. I never thought I had lost something like a perfect game. The no-hitter satisfied me.”
A unique twist to the historic game was Ramsdell was cheering for Erskine to get the no-hitter after he was done with his appearance in the game. Ramsdell was notified that if the no-hitter happened, he would be the player of the game for the Cubs, and receive a $50 check.
Erskine was later notified that Ramsdell was yelling at the monitor, threatening his teammates if they got the hit. The Dodger right-hander spent his entire career with the Boys in Blue, 12 seasons total, which included two in Los Angeles.
Dodgers Outfielder Andre Ethier Surprises Middle School Students